The Living Archives of Rwandan Exiles and Genocide Survivors in Canada Project
Friday, March 06, 2020 12:00 AM
Born out of the Montreal Life Stories Project, the Living Archives represent both an academic and community-led approach to the narratives of individuals displaced by mass violence. The Living Archives is one of the largest online repositories of life story interviews with Rwandan genocide survivors and exiles in the world. Its value is enhanced by the fact that there is a thick web of inter-connection between the interviewees, revealing the ripple effects of mass violence within families and across generations. Our website was made in collaboration with members of the Rwandan diaspora now living in Montreal, Page-Rwanda, as well as Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling and Geomedia Lab.

The project responds to the wider need to develop new ways to access, share, visualize, map, listen, and analyze the recorded stories of survivors of mass violence. This pedagogical tool enables users to work across multiple scales of analysis, zooming-in to study a single story in an interview recording, follow a thread between and across interviews, or zooming-out to visualize the wider patterns across an entire interview collection or between different groups of interviewees within an archive (along the lines of gender, class, and generation, for example).

Our website utilizes computational interview analysis tools to annotate and index the video recordings and Geomedia’s AtlasCine tool to digitally map them.

I believe you could find these approaches extremely useful in the fields of pedagogy, in light of the association’s interest in furthering understanding of the dispersal of people of African descent throughout the world and most importantly, engaging people to use life stories an interdisciplinary and innovative way.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or consult our website: